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ATSSA asks DOTs for support during tightening of raw materials market

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner sent a letter today to directors of state departments of transportation (DOTs) on behalf of the roadway safety infrastructure industry as it struggles with a tightening of the raw materials market.

“Currently, the availability of several key raw materials has tightened in the market from several factors including reduced production from COVID‐19 plant shutdowns and the extreme weather events in the Midwest/Texas in February,” Tetscher says in the letter. “This tightening of raw materials is impacting metals and petroleum‐based products used in the roadway safety industry, including aluminum, steel, plastic, and pavement marking and high friction surface treatment resins.”

He notes that the shrinking supply of these materials has a direct effect on the roadway safety infrastructure industry.

ATSSA urges governors to include roadway workers in Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccine plan

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner sent a letter today to the nation’s governors asking them to include roadway construction personnel and the manufacturers of roadway safety devices and construction machinery in Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccination plan as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended the group deemed as essential critical infrastructure be included in Phase 1b. Frontline workers such as emergency responders and teachers are also included in this phase.

Roadway infrastructure industry personnel were deemed essential critical infrastructure workers last spring by the Department of Homeland Security. 

Industry report lays out COVID-19 relief funding to DOTs by state

Latest package sends nearly $10 billion to DOTs across the country

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The latest COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress included nearly $10 billion in federal funds for transportation as reported here last month. The vast majority of that money--$9.8 billion—will go to state departments of transportation (DOTs) across the country.  

Industry publication Construction Dive has now gathered details of the amounts expected to go to each state DOT as well as the DOT for the nation’s capital, and created a chart detailing the allotments. Its report also details how the money will be allotted and indicates that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is to distribute the funds within 30 days of the bill’s signing by former President Donald Trump, which took place Dec. 27.

Congressional leaders find deal on COVID-19 relief and federal spending bills

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Leaders of the House and Senate agreed this afternoon to terms on a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package and a $1.4 trillion federal spending package, ending lengthy negotiations that had lasted for months. Included in the COVID relief legislation was $45 billion for transit, with $10 billion allocated to state departments of transportation for highways.

ATSSA has supported the inclusion of funds for state DOTs throughout the year and made it the main legislative priority in any discussions centered around COVID-19 relief. In addition to making it a main talking point at the ATSSA Virtual Fly-In & Legislative Briefing in September, ATSSA also signed on to multiple letters alongside fellow stakeholders to push for Congress to include these funds.

ATSSA urged CDC to include critical infrastructure workers in next COVID vaccination phase

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Despite urging by ATSSA to include road construction workers and the manufacturers of roadway safety devices and construction machinery in phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccination allocation process, a committee of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) denied the request.

Instead, after meeting on Sunday, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend that Americans who are 75 and older and who live independently be included in the next phase of vaccinations. They voted to place the group deemed as essential critical infrastructure in the following phase.

The committee cited the high death rates among elderly Americans, the current short-supply of the vaccine and the smaller size of the group as compared to the DHS-designated group as the reasons for the recommendation. Frontline workers such as emergency responders and teachers were also included in the next phase.  

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